Adapting Lord of the Rings

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Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Bluebottle on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:46 pm

Self congratulatory, but interesting.



The two to three movie change probably played a role in the messy structuring of the last two movies. And the continual rewrites in the logical consistency of the writing.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by azriel on Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:06 pm

IL carry on with that vid when Im more chilled out I think Very Happy Im only 1 min 40seconds in & already I want to bitch slap Philippa from here until eternity ! Id shake her till her head fell off, she sends me doo-lally ! Mad Peejers isnt much better, arrogant numpty.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by bungobaggins on Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:13 pm

They don't even talk about adaptation on the Hobbit EE extras.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:56 pm

Well it would be a short documentary-

'THe Hobbit- from Book to Screen'

Fran Walsh- 'we didn't even bother pretending to try this time.'

The End.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by azriel on Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:08 pm

Laughing

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Bluebottle on Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:33 pm

Yeah, I think there's definitely a reason for that. Laughing

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Bluebottle on Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:36 pm

The video is mostly propaganda, of course. I do find it interesting how they jump from adhering to the books, to the spirirt of them and back again. And I'm not sure I buy into the idea that you have to make changes in an adaptation. Some will happen, but mostly it's a choice you make. Do you trust the source material and make a version of that for screen, or do you trust yourself and come up with you own story based on the source material. It is a conscious choice of approach, I think.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by halfwise on Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:25 pm

It's just from the EE appendices, so nothing new, but it is fun to go back and revisit. On the whole I found the appendices nice, but they never really addressed some of the big questions like did they really think book Denethor was a pointless nut case and why the f%$k did they send Aragorn over a cliff?

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Bluebottle on Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:28 pm

Yes. It's interesting how much of a beeline they make to strawmanning the cutting of Tom Bombadil. Like.. did anyone actually complain about that? Probably, but everyone knows it's not integral from a storytelling point of view. But if you dismiss a not very relevant criticism outright, you don't need to adress all the other more valid ones.. right? Rolling Eyes

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Radaghast on Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:14 am

I could argue that Bombadil was integral, at least if you're trying to tell the story Tolkien did (which Jackson & Friends weren't).

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:48 am

I have to say I'm a bit in two minds about it. The story functions coherently without Bombadil, but it does loose something by loosing the trip through the Old Forest and meeting Bombadil. I'll say as much for them that I'm not sure how they wouldhave made it fit in in the epic romantic action movie they made the books into.

The point was more though, that it is the least of the criticisms you can make against their adaptation. In my opinion Christopher Tolkien was right, although his words perhaps harsher than mine would be.

“They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25,”

They did reduce Tolkiens story to an action movie for young people. The book is that, but it's also so much more.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:52 am

Bluebottle wrote:Yes. It's interesting how much of a beeline they make to strawmanning the cutting of Tom Bombadil. Like.. did anyone actually complain about that? Probably, but everyone knows it's not integral from a storytelling point of view. But if you dismiss a not very relevant criticism outright, you don't need to adress all the other more valid ones.. right? Rolling Eyes

Plenty of people complain about Bombadil still; dunno if it's more or less now than there were 12 years ago though.

Honestly, I came into this thread wanting to be all critical of the adaptation stuff in LOTR, but I just don't have it in me.  I've said for years that being an unfaithful adaptation isn't the same thing as being a bad film, and vice versa, but I find myself caring less about the adaptation part and even more about the good film part.  Part of this is probably because PJ has a lot fewer defenders now, post-Hobbit, but I'm sure part of it is my own changing priorities.  And The Hobbit and the most recent season of Game of Thrones have made me appreciate how good LOTR was even more.  Not that I didn't enjoy the films before -- I wouldn't have watched them twice yearly for as long as I did if I hated the experience -- but I think it's easy to forget what an accomplishment they were.  Yes, even with the dumb shit like Frodo and the Ringwraith in Osgiliath or the Army of the Dead.

{{{I still don't think it was a very good adaptation, and on this point I still reject the "it could have been worse" argument, but the old justifications from Boyens et al have lost much of their power now that fewer people in the fandom buy into them.}}}
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:01 am

Yeah, I guess the thing with Bombadil is whether it is a criticism made or not it is the most easily deflectable. As it is pretty much the book definition of a book snob complaint, because as a change it is perfectly understandable.

I do kind of agree with you on the movies, although I struggle both with some of the writing and adaptational decisions towards the end.

Anyway this thread wasn't really meant to be a "bitch about the LotRs movies" thread, I guess that's just the nature of the forum, Razz I was more interested in hearing peoples opinion on it as an adaptation and the adaptational process as I was thinking of making a more general thread about adaptations as so many of our discussins seem to revolve around that.. Smile

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:19 am

I think a lot of people here (well, I guess a lot of purists in general, who have gained ground on here) want the process of adaptation to be like translation.  Which is not to say that the text remains exactly the same -- because as anyone who has ever tried to translate anything can tell you, literalism will often work against you -- but that you try to follow the original as much as possible given the constraints you're working within.  Whereas PJ and Co. took what's probably the more common mainstream route and set out to tell their own story inspired by and generally following the book, but altered to fit some (but not all) of their preferences.

This is probably most significant in the first half of FOTR, where the story goes from being a very slow, chess match like duel with the Ringwraiths intercut with many peaceful interludes, including Gildor Inglorion, bathtime at Crickhollow, and Bree, to being an exciting sequence of chases intercut with moments of great dread and tension.  LOTR is notorious for starting extremely slowly and gradually picking up in pace throughout most of the rest of the book, and this is something that one can certainly argue wouldn't have worked onscreen to the extent that it did in the book.  But the changes also reflect PJ's greater interest in action and excitement compared to Tolkien (not that Tolkien didn't do battle scenes well too).

Incidentally, this neatly explains why Bombadil would have made zero sense in PJ's LOTR, and why the periodic suggestions that he should have been added to the extended edition are equally nonsensical.  He's incompatible with the type of story PJ was telling in that part of FOTR.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Radaghast on Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:53 am

Bluebottle wrote:I have to say I'm a bit in two minds about it. The story functions coherently without Bombadil, but it does loose something by loosing the trip through the Old Forest and meeting Bombadil. I'll say as much for them that I'm not sure how they wouldhave made it fit in in the epic romantic action movie they made the books into
It also loses the Barrow-wights, against whom Frodo first shows his mettle. This is a movie that already undercuts Frodo badly.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:10 pm

True, although that was a running theme of their entire adaptation. And could have been alleviated in what was actually included. Like by having him stand up to the Ringwraiths on Weathertop.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by azriel on Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:52 pm




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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:11 pm

That first one is a little too reminiscent of the barrel ride sequence. Shocked

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Radaghast on Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:19 pm

Bluebottle wrote:True, although that was a running theme of their entire adaptation. And could have been alleviated in what was actually included. Like by having him stand up to the Ringwraiths on Weathertop.
Yeah, since the intent was to marginalize Frodo anyway, why try to work Bombadil in there; although, I think they still could have had the Barrow-wights and, if not give Frodo his heroic moment, at least provide a better explanation for the hobbits finding their swords than Aragorn just happening to be carrying them around.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:34 pm

Its settle down, pour yourself a buckie time, and soak up the crabbit thoughts on this matter- and I should point out this mainly just covers FotR- although it touches on wider issues that are prevalent throughout all PJ's Tolkien adaptations.


Choices, choices.

I think you have to start by looking at the book, at what is being adapted.

As Eldo has pointed out the books are not balanced- the opening is much longer than the rest. The story gains pace as it progresses, whether you count that as events that happen in a period of time, or distance covered by the characters- the opening is way slower.

Now as any Tolkien fan will tell you Tolkien never intended a trilogy- he intended one long huge story, printed as a single edition, but was thwarted in this ambition by a post WW2 paper shortage.

So the first mistake for me made by PJ and Co when adapting was to follow the trilogy notion- this works in print where one book can be larger than the other, but it fails immediately when you try to divide the story and character elements by an arbitrary time- such as 3 hours per film.
That requires three books of almost equal length and events- and LotR's just isn't like that.

Now in fairness I don't entirely blame PJ and co for this- they started trying to make TH, failed to get the rights, made a two film treatment of LotR's and eventually New Line offered them the chance to make a 3 film version- it may simply not have been economically credible for them at that point to have insisted they needed four films not three because the books are unbalanced.
Nevertheless the choice to make three films of equal length out of three book of severely unequal length was a flaw present from inception.

The books are not action/blockbusters. They are punctuated by moments of action/blockbuster material. There is a difference.

This is problem two for PJ and Co- in order to make the sort of film PJ wanted to out of LotR's he needed to up the spectacle, to correct his personal disappointments in earlier version like Bakshi's and put all the action in he had desired to see back as a teenager.

But putting the focus on the action elements fundamentally alters the underlying tone of the books, especially FotR which is very character focused in its early parts especially.
PJ's solution to upping the pace, in LotR's and TH is largely the same- he contracts events down and dramatically reduces the time between events to give the impression of a constant close pursuit.
The reasoning behind this is that it gives something to drive the narrative forward- and there is nothing wrong with is, its a traditional way of doing so, but it creates inconsistency in PJ's telling- so that a Black Rider can be galloping into the Shire and cutting heads off hobbits before Gandalf has even finished telling Frodo about the Ring, yet take two days for the same rider to get anywhere near Frodo.
Another sacrifice that comes from this squeezing of events is secondary characters- so we get an introduction to Merry and Pippin that is at odds with their book versions and fails to tell us much about them, including importantly why they are Frodo's friends in the first pace, and we lose entirely third layer characters like Fatty Bolger.
We also lose the Shire- as in the films for reasons of expediency the Shire consists of one pub and a few hobbit holes placed round a small pool and the occasional outlying farm for them to walk by. There is no Crickhollow, no Woody End, no Maggots farm (worth the name), no Golden Perch inn with the finest beer in the east-Farthing, no Michel Delving with its Mayor- no sense of scale or of place.

This can have odd side effects- they include Sam saying one more step and it will be the furthest he has ever been- but we the viewer have no idea where they are, how long they have been walking for or how close they still are to Hobbiton or to the border of the Shire- its a sentiment made out of any context. It still tells us something about Sam, but its a adrift in the ether. In the book the fact Sam has not gone far is preset up- we already know he knows all the land within 20 miles all round of Hobbiton like the back of his hand- but has been no further- in the film its a character statement, it doesn't develop out of any earlier plot or character point- its jut a statement telling you about a character. Which is a shorthand way of informing the viewer when you don't want to spend time on the character development and PJ doesn't, as his main priority is to drive the narrative forward to the next action section.

Thirdly there are the changes to character which are hard to understand.

Book Frodo and film Frodo are quite different. PJ brings book Frodo's inclination towards pacifism that he reaches in the final book at the latter part of his journey (physical and spiritual) to the very start and he is presented this way from the start- never proactive in a fight.
When they encounter the Black Rider its throwing a bag, done by Merry while Frodo is paralysed with fear, which saves him, at the ferry he runs away after freezing in fear and getting left behind by the others, at Weathertop he just falls over, at the Ford he is merely baggage with no will to resist left to him.
This is where the loss of the Bombadil section is painful for Frodo's character- in that it is where he has to find his own mettle and its inclusion would make bringing his pacifism to the fore right from the off impossible.
It is this odd decision to give Frodo a pacifist outlook from the start which means there is no development for the character in his regard for the reminder of the films.
It also means Frodo's final decision to leave and strike for Mordor alone is not made within any character context- it happens because it happens in the book, but the Frodo it happens to bears little resemblance to the one of the book, or what that character has experienced and choosen which has led him to that decision.

This feeds into the second character issue- the decision to remove the class system and to make Frodo and Sam friends from the start who go to the pub together.
I know the official reasoning for this- that people would not relate to it- but in the world in which we live, in which class and wealth versus the poor and poverty has never been starker, I don't understand why they think that it would not resonate.
But more so it is crucial to the development of the characters of Frodo and Sam, without it they start friends, they end friends and that's all there is to it.

When taken as a whole Frodo has no character to develop and nothing that happens to him therefore really does anything in furthering the development of him or in giving him greater depth.

The upshot of this however is that PJ could remove most of the slower bits from FotR- with all the class stuff gone you don't need the conversation between Frodo and Sam after Gildor leaves. You don't in fact need Gildor at all. You don't need to include Pippin with them as you no longer need to accentuate the class difference between Frodo and his actual friends, and Frodo and Sam, his gardener. You don't need Bombadil as Frodo is a pacifist from the start and those events would now contradict that. You don't need Farmer Maggot as Sam's distrust of the farmer who beat his master all those years ago now has no place in the narrative.

And by reducing Merry and Pippin from heirs to the two most powerful families in the Shire, to some sort of thieving vagabonds who don't have anything better to do than go with Frodo, they can lose the entire Crickhollow, Conspiracy Unmasked section too and can simply skip right over them.

But the end result of rushing all the action events closer together is a complete loss of sense of place, reasoning for why anyone is doing anything (why do film Merry and Pippin go with them? When do they find out about the Ring? Or what they are doing? Or where they are going? Or why?) and you kill character development- Frodo has almost no character left to develop- his bravery is gone replaced by his final position of pacifism, and his development with Sam from Master/servant to equal living beings is lost- leaving him nothing to do but to carry the Ring through the story for the plots sake.

Fourth- PJ and Co don't know how to do a scene where more than three people have to speak.
This is an odd one but it seems to hold true- as they do exactly the same thing in the Bag End scenes in TH- in FotR its the Council of Elrond.
The only way they know to inject drama into these situation is to have the conversation de-evolve to everyone shouting at each other until someone, usually Gandalf, stands up and shouts till everyone else shuts up before then explaining what the next bit of plot is.

PJ's main concern at Rivendell is to leave and get the plot physically moving again- he has set himself several goals, all of which he wants to reach within the minimum of time.

Goal 1- set up the plot for the second half of the film- where the Ring is going, what for and who is taking it.
Secondary aim- set up the Aragorn/Arwen story line.
Third aim- introduce each of the members of the Fellowship.

He achieves these by having the Council not a discussion at all- but a shouting match in which first Gandalf and then Elrond simply tells everyone what is going to happen. There is in fact no discussion at all. This saves time but means we lose all the contribution from the other about events elsewhere which inform on the growing threat and reach of the Enemy and help create the sense of threat. As well as conveying a sense of scale of ME and its people.
The secondary aim is achieved by giving each character that will be in the Fellowship at least 1 line of dialogue each during the Council, whilst all other non-Fellowship members save Elrond remain silent.
And each line is a sort of mini description of how they wish to portray the character- so Legolas is noble but fierce in passion and defends Aragorn, Boromir is arrogant and cannot control his own actions and tries to reach for the Ring, Gimli is to the point and brutish and falls over for comic effect.

The third goal is more problematic because they didn't know themselves what way they were going with the Aragorn and Arwen line- was it to be kick-ass Helms Deep Arwen? Or closer to the book stay at Rivendell version? Or would it be the version they finally developed who stays, leaves and changes her mind and comes back again? (typical woman cant make her mind up!).
In the end the scenes between them do little more than establish there is a relationship between them. But we don't really see anything of why they have such a relationship, or what it is about each other that they love. Its all about just establishing the bald facts of the matter.

And we have again the intrusion of something that is all too common in their adapting- the need to inject false drama in where there is no action or spectacle to fill the screen with.
PJ is not comfortable with character only development- in the case of Aragorn/Arwen he turns to the oldest one in the book- father doesn't approve- and have Elrond put a direct ban on Aragorn from pursuing his daughter.
This is cheap and easy- what is really a shame is that if they had wanted to bring some conflict out between Elrond and Argaorn such can be found in a certain reading of the book- Aragorn being raised by Elrond as if a son to him, and his own pain at the knowledge his love of Arwen will cause his 'father' pain for every more. There is emotional conflict, and deeper and more meaningful than the shallow fathers ban of PJ and CO, but they choose to ignore it as it would require more time developing the characters of all three of them.
But in this case it is to the detriment of Elrond's character- who both has sheltered the Kings of Men for generations and been their ally and also seems to hate and despise men for being weak. In short they make him a contradictory dick purely for the convenience of creating an obstruction to Aragorn and Arwen.

Another consequence of one of their oft used techniques- contraction of time- is the problem of Bilbo's ageing- as he seems to have aged the books 17 years in the films (at best ) few months. And there is no real explanation given for this, it just happens because.
In the film they retain Frodo telling Bilbo he is not like him, and Bilbo's sad response.
But in the films all Frodo has done is wimp out at every opportunity, he has stood up to nothing so far.
In the film Frodo is not like Bilbo because he is a complete pacifist who doesn't really want to get involved.
Book Frodo choose not to just save himself from the Barrow, he confronted Strider and questioned him, he invoked Elbereth and tried to stab the Witch king on Weathertop and he defied the Wraiths with his life at the Ford, he is not present in the films and so his words to Bilbo, and Bilbo's understanding of them have lost all the character meaning they originally had. The words are coming from a different Frodo, with a different, lesser meaning.

Another issue Pj has in adapting LotR's, and one he never finds a solution for, is how do you do a film with no visible, or present bad guy?
The Pj solution is  a series of temporary substitute bad guys, in FotR it is Saruman and his head Uruk.
In TT its partly Saruman and partly Gollum and Faramir. In RotK its Gothmog and the Witch-King. And having run out of ideas on the other line for a villian- amazingly its Frodo siding with Gollum who provides the immediate threat, with Shelob and Gollum the secondary.

In FotR this means upping Sarumans role- achieved firstly though his ludicrous physical fight with Gandalf- the most action packed way Pj could think of in the circumstances to convey the meaning that Saruman is more powerful.
And they combined it with a sort of Frankenstein birthing of Saruman's Uruak-Hai, which felt at moments with Lee evilly grinning down the lens, like a Hammer House tribute from PJ.
The Uruk of course gives PJ a mobile bad guy he can send out in place of Saruman to confront the hero- Aragorn and inflict the damage on the good guys- killing Bormoir.

The first way PJ ups Saruman after Rivendell is to involve him in the plot of Moria- so he is directly responsible for the events on Caradhras, and he is linked in the viewers mind with the Balrog and Gandalfs fate by predicting it beforehand.

This all comes back to a basic premise of PJ's adapting style- that the plot needs driven forward by external threats, not from development from within or from its characters.
So the slow fall of Boromir, and the occasional slips of tongue, or questionableness of interpretation of statements in the book, becomes blatant sign-posting in the film- such as outside Moria or Galadriels 'he will try to take the Ring from you' to Frodo.

PJ is not interested in the group dynamics driving the narrative- that takes time- so gone is the argument between Gandalf and Aragorn and Boromir over the route, gone are Legolas's objection to passing through Moria- all the discontent, all the frayed tempers from the harshness of the journey are gone, all replaced with the simple tool of making Saruman the main bad guy and giving him an Uruk henchman to drive the narrative on.
And thats how the roles pay out- Uruk henchmen kills Boromir, gives Aragorn his film finale rousing fight with the bad guy, and the fact Saruman has served his purpose- as temporary bad guy for as long as is needed to move the plot on is proved by PJ not showing Saruman's fate in the theatrical version of TT- he didn't need to, the character had served the limited purpose Pj had needed him for.

Ok that's probably more than enough for now! I think it covers the main issues I see with how FotR was adapted, though I could go through the entire thing scene by scene and discuss decisions made and plausible reasons why, by I shall at least spare you that crabbit tirade. For now...

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Pettytyrant101
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Radaghast on Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:47 pm

Nicely done, PT. Very insightful.

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:56 pm

Amazing post, Petty. Good to see you're still in full form here. I wish I could give it a response it deserves now, but that'll have to wait until I get back from camping. Just wanted to say it's very impressive though and I agree with most of it, even if those issues don't ruin my enjoyment of FOTR.
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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:47 pm

Thanks guys!


'I agree with most of it'- Eldo

Hold on! Suspect Most of it?!! Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:17 pm

I don't agree with any of it. surprise! Razz

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Re: Adapting Lord of the Rings

Post by Eldorion on Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:48 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Hold on! Suspect Most of it?!! Evil or Very Mad

I think you overstate your case with the Aragorn/Arwen part.  Most of the changes there have to do with PJ changing the timeline in order to include their story in the main one, rather than as something separate tacked on to the Appendices.  Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of asshole!Elrond, but the book version was opposed to the idea of his daughter and Aragorn getting together at first too.  Whether that should have been included in the main narrative is a separate question; one closely related to the increased prominence given to Aragorn as a protagonist throughout the trilogy.  And while the scenes with Gandalf and Galadriel straight-up saying Boromir would betray Frodo were dumb as shit, the film did depict changing dynamics between members of the Fellowship, and also gave us moments like Aragorn and Boromir's conversation about Gondor while in Lorien.  Aragorn's distrust of Gondor was different from the book, but consistent with his established character in the film, and Sean Bean knocked it out of the park in that scene.

You make some very interesting points regarding the structure of the films, but I'm not sure I agree with those either.  I think PJ made the right decision to emphasize the distinctive elements of each installment.  You can't blame Tolkien for this since he didn't know the book would be published in three parts, but PJ knew that he wasn't going to make a single 10 hour movie and that audiences would thus have to wait a year in between each part, so he made them a little more stand-alone.  But of course they also tie together very tightly, in a way that was (at the time, and arguably still today) unprecedented for a movie series.  I don't think that splitting FOTR into two films would have been all that effective.  The flight to the ford would be the natural breaking point, but it's not a movie ending-worthy climax, nor is "Many Meetings" and "The Council of Elrond" a suitable beginning for the next film.  Accelerating the pace of FOTR was a perfectly justifiable decision in service of the adaptation, IMO.  And I think the Shire is well enough established.  I agree with you about Merry and Pippin, certainly (I've complained about them before myself), but we don't really need to know all that much about the details of the Shire except as it relates to the main characters' emotional connection to it.  I think Sam's "the farthest from home I've ever been" line illustrates this well.  It loses none of its emotional punch if the audience doesn't know exactly how far from home they are; Sam had already been portrayed as a homebody and it's obvious that they have traveled no great distance yet.

(Don't get me wrong, I love the Shire material in the books, but it's a perfect example of where detail that can be established on screen has to go because film is less well-suited for long-form storytelling.  They still gave a general sense of the Shire as it was in the books, particularly in the EE with the "Concerning Hobbits" monologue and the number of people attending Bilbo's party.  It's not like Gondor where the fiefdoms just plain don't exist.  They didn't have room to go for specifics in either case, but in the case of the Shire, they depicted a setting where both readers and newbies alike can easily imagine that there is more going on than just what the characters see in front of them.)

Like I said though, I do agree with most of your points and of course the general opinion that PJ strayed too far in many places.

Mrs Figg wrote:I don't agree with any of it. surprise! Razz

I dunno, I've thought a lot about (for example) Frodo's characterization, and I don't think there's really any justification for him falling over on Weathertop or being a sack of potatoes in the Flight to the Ford.  Much less trying to give the Ring away at Osgiliath (and worse yet how all the characters react to that).  At least him sending Sam away kinda made sense in the context of how movie!Sam was behaving and Frodo having carried the Ring for a long time by then.  Kinda.
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